When asked for the best career advice she had ever received, Topeka entrepreneur Stephanie Moore responded, “Figure out what you love to do, then find a way to make money doing that.”
In 2011, Moore took that advice and left a corporate marketing position to pursue a career of self-employment. In April of that year, she opened the Topeka office of Seniors Helping Seniors which offers in-home services matching seniors who want to provide help with seniors who are looking for help.
Those who dream of following Moore’s path and launching their own businesses need to be sure they are equipped for the risks and challenges of self-employment.
Rich Drinon, Topeka-based author of the new book, “Creating Your Inspired Career Path,” says anyone should first look inward and upward to determine if they are equipped to launch a venture, and then equip themselves with the training they need to be successful.
“You should carefully consider what skills, talents or expertise you can bring to the marketplace,” Drinon says. “This introspection should be combined with quiet time during which you seek and receive insight or direction for their career path.”
He also advises anyone considering making the move to self-employment to take some sales or persuasive skills training since he or she will need to convince others to follow their lead or purchase their products and services.
7 Questions to Ask Yourself
Drinon, who is also a popular speaker with 25 years of consulting experience, offers 7 factors anyone should thoroughly evaluate if they are looking to make the jump to self-employment.
- How will they make ends meet while they ramp up sales or earnings?
- How will they replace various types of insurance or benefits they currently have through their employer – or those they can live without?
- How does the economy look this year for their particular product, service or idea? Is the timing right?
- Who else is already doing what they are thinking of doing? What is the competitive landscape?
- What kind of licenses, registrations, legal and tax issues must be addressed in owning their particular type of business?
- Will you be able to work from home or will you need to lease/buy an external location? Even if your business type is amenable to working from home, some people don’t have what it takes to focus on work when surrounded by the distractions of home.
- And a wide assortment of factors that many people with a great idea may not consider when focusing on the greatness of their idea – work hours, travel, family pressures, hiring employees, getting customers, etc.
Prepare through Research
Drinon emphasizes the importance of research and preparation before launching a venture.
“One can always find information about trends on a particular product, idea or industry online,” he says. “One of the most successful entrepreneurs I know always does his ‘due diligence’ by reading everything he can about the industry, business, and customer base and doing background research on anyone else who will be involved in the business with him as a partner. Other people have the flexibility to test market their ideas on the side while still doing a full-time job.”
From Downsized to Super Sized
In this economy, many are still finding themselves suddenly thrust into the ranks of the unemployed and unable to find work. Many will turn to self-employment as a way to make ends meet. What should they be doing to translate their own passions and interests into a revenue stream?
“Coming up with a game plan, even a short term survival one, is critical — including cutting expenses, filing for unemployment and getting busy with a business plan,” Drinon says. “When I lost my job at age 31, just before I opened my first business, I made the most of that last paycheck, looked at every way to cut expenses and got out and started talking with businesses about using my services as a sales trainer.”